Coordinator of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC), Shamima Ali. Photo by Fiji Department of Information.
PACMAS, in partnership with Fiji’s Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA), has completed a two-day training workshop for journalists on effective reporting on Violence Against Women. The training took place in the lead up to the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, and the start of 16 Days of Action to end violence against women.
During the workshop, journalists and editors from across the Fiji media, as well as communications staff from the Fiji Police and Fiji government , explored the complex issues around sensitive and ethical reporting on violence against women and children. Participants were given an overview of the issue of Violence Against Women across the world; examples of how international media are tackling this subject matter; case studies from the region; and expert voices from Fiji who work in the area of Eliminating Violence Against Women (EVAW).
The training was facilitated by Australian journalist, editor and author Jo Chandler, who specialises in reporting on gender issues in Australia and PNG. Guest speakers and panel discussions formed a large part of the workshop. Speakers included Ashwin Raj, MIDA Chairman; Shamima Ali, Coordinator of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC), Naziah Ali, Publisher & Editor in Chief of MaiLife Magazine, Methodist Church Minister and Head of Communications Reverend James Bhagwan; Noelene Nabulivou of Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality for Women; Turu Lewai, of Male Advocate for Womens Human Rights; and Fiji Police representatives Senior Superintendent Kishore Kumar and Communications Manager Ana Naisoro. Representatives from UN Women gave an overview of events planned for Fiji’s 16 Days of Action, giving journalists a great starting point for planning their coverage of the events.
The workshop was closed by Fiji’s Minister for Women, the Honorable Rosy Akbar, who reiterated that ending violence against women is a key priority for the government. The urgency of the problem in Fiji, and the need for all parts of Fiji society to work together to eliminate violence against women, was a theme that all participants and guests repeated across the two day workshop – and all understood the key role that the media can play in sensitively reporting on violence against women, informing communities about the many issues involved, and advocating for change and action.